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Blue Collar Faith

Clarion Review (4 Stars)

A collection of personal essays and poetry penned by a group of evangelical laypeople, Blue Collar Faith offers everyday inspiration for Christians seeking God in the mundane moments of their lives.

While some of the authors of this work choose to reveal their names, many others remain anonymous, hiding their identities behind the collective nom de plume of B.A. Brightlight. But regardless of whether an essay is attributed to Marcia Daniels or Rick Saltzer or someone whose name readers may never know, it’s virtually impossible not to recognize oneself in these homespun stories of Christians connecting with God as they go about the ordinary business of living their lives. These are writers who find the imprint of God’s hand in a game of golf, where the endless process of perfecting one’s shot is reminiscent of the never-ending struggle to rid oneself of sin. These are writers who can recall the unconditional trust that children tend to place in their friends and know that this is the very same kind of trust they must strive to place in God. These are men and women who can look at dirty dishes piled up in the kitchen sink and work that scene into a discussion of how important it is for Christians not to put off the difficult task of healing conflicts among their family members and friends. With insights drawn from such generally accessible experiences, the authors of Blue Collar Faith speak with voices that should make readers feel right at home. This is especially true, since the compositions themselves display an ease with language that is frequently missing from the literary efforts of laypeople.

There are two aspects of Blue Collar Faith that may prove to be slight stumbling blocks for some readers. The first is the occasional compositional error that finds its way into the writing itself. As personable and straightforward as these essays are, it is unfortunate that the book didn’t go through one more round of editing to tidy up minor mistakes. The second, and more problematic issue, is the subject of politics. Significant portions of Blue Collar Faith are given over to analysis of the alleged spiritual decline among the American people and what the authors see as a naturally resulting decay of the country’s political and social systems. These opinions are expressed without rancor and thus avoid the bitterness that marks some aspects of contemporary political discourse. That in itself, however, does not negate the possibility for offense, and it is possible that Christians of a more liberal political bent may take umbrage with a few of these essays.

Though Blue Collar Faith leans a bit to the right in its politics, it is largely a mainstream work of Christian writings that could easily find a home among a wide swath of the Christian audience.

Diane Taylor